Everyone has stress in their lives. Stress is our body's way of responding to the activity around us.
No one gets to go through life without having to deal with a little stress now and then. These days our economic situation seems to have increased the pressure: rising prices, bills to pay, debts that have piled up. Perhaps some of our debt is the result of poor choices, but maybe, too, unexpected expenses have popped up -- health issues, broken down cars, needs of children or aging parents, etc.
Or maybe you have experienced some recent life changes: a new baby in the house or a move to another part of the country or the death of a loved one. These are times when our level of stress seems to escalate.
Sometimes stress is our body's way of letting us know we need to change something about how we're living our lives. Ask yourself if there is something you can do to make the changes you need to make.
Sometimes, however, we can only make little changes because what is causing us stress is not changeable, or to change it would only make matters worse. These are the bigger things that we just have to live through. Then it is our attitude to them that may have to be adjusted.
Truth is, no one should have to deal with life's stresses all by themselves. We have become way too individualized these days. It used to be that we had family and friends with whom to share life's ups and downs. If you are alone, your stress may feel as if it's too much to bear.
When our bodies are stressed, a hormone called cortisol is produced in our brains. It helps us to speed up our responses, and so it can be a good thing when we are in danger or facing a crisis in which something must be done.
But too much cortisol is damaging, especially for a child. When parents feel stress, their baby picks up on it and feels stressed, too. So we need to deal with our stress if only for the health of our children.
Our own health may be affected by too much stress, as well. Our cardiovascular system can be adversely affected by an overabundance of stress, leading to heart attacks and other problems. Our digestion may be affected and certainly our sleep. Not having enough sleep leads to many other health issues.